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 lard pirates dawt cawm  §  Making Your Next Big RPG a Success: a Guide for the Gaming Giants / by Spoony Spoonicus
 
 
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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 03:21pm 01/22/11 (02:17pm 05/22/10) in 1h55m56s  §  2894 eyeballs
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Another satirical Spoony rant that nobody asked for. Hooray!

Stuck in a rut? All the talent left your company to either retire on their fortunes or form their own studio to churn out lackluster games without giving you a cut of the profits? No problem, for you can simply sponge off of your currently existing IPs forever with the following simple steps!

1. Write out the same generic, predictable plot you've been recycling over and over for years, then pepper it with a hammy love story and a ton of useless subplots that go nowhere. Don't worry about contrivances or glaring plot holes, you've got legions of fans who will rationalize and justify every flaw with their own stupid theories (see "Squall's Dead" - oooh, the whole game past Disc 1 is Squall's coma fantasy, this completely excuses the disjointed writing, terrible dialog and anachronistic setting! I didn't waste $50 on an inferior game after all!) or, barring that, just harass and DDOS attack anyone who dares to question your perfect game! Oh, and be sure to shoehorn in a heavy-handed message about a hot-button topic, like organized religion and the blind faith it promotes. The teenage audience will mistake this for "deep thought" and "tackling controversial topics", which just means more sales for you!

Oh, and this is essential - never, EVER attempt to put any more effort into the plot than necessary. If you try to innovate, add a twist or change a single element, people will get scared and shy away. Besides, you don't need to; you've established yourself in the industry with one smash hit that's over a decade old and now, just like people on DeviantArt who became popular by tracing frames from Inuyasha, you never have to evolve or even improve ever again!

2. Be sure to reuse the same stock characters you've used in every prior game; the naive angsty hero, the boring Mary Sue heroine, the annoying douchebag fighter, the generic rival, and the Cute Girl Who Never Does Anything but gets thrown in anyway just to appeal to the lolicon fanbase. Oh, and throw in a furry too, same reason. Never establish any backstory or real motives for any of them because, once again, the fans will fill that in on their own and mistake them for well-written, likable characters! Hey, it worked for Boba Fett! You know, the guy who never did a single thing of note in the entire Star Wars franchise, but is still one of its most iconic and beloved characters?

3. Artificially lengthen your game with overcomplicated character leveling systems, all-encompassing minigames and dull item collecting that are required for game completion. Padding your game out with tedious busywork is the simplest way to turn a 10-hour plot into a 50-hour game, and nobody will dare complain about it because, if you did enough of a good job with rules 1 and 2, they'll always want to see your wonderful story through to the end even though they've already sat through it half a dozen times before!

Oh, and remember to never have an option to skip overly long spell animations and cinematics; they may be inconvenient and annoying when you have to watch them over and over again constantly, but that's the point! You simply made them that way to pad the game out for another 4-5 hours.

4. Never, EVER release a demo (unless it's with one of your third or fourth string crappers nobody would buy otherwise), show any gameplay footage in commercials (98% of your budget went into non-interactive FMVs; flaunt them!) or put any screenshots in ads or on the box. This way, people have no choice but to buy your game and play it before they can decide it sucks, and by then, it's too late; you've got their money even if they hate it and sell it back! Then, just like Sonic fans hoping that buying every shitty Sonic game to come out will somehow inspire Sega to make good ones again, they'll keep buying and selling back all of your subsequent games in hopes that you'll eventually invest real time and effort into one of them, the poor fools. Every dollar counts, no matter how you get it!

5. Don't forget to include kickback checks in any review copies you send out to ensure not only glowing reviews for this game, but for all the crappy spinoff games and uninspired poop your company churns out until your next big name release. Hell, throw in a clause that says anything you co-develop or even publish has to be credited solely to you as well and can never get less than a 7.5 out of 10; this will just mean more sales for you in the future! Oh, and don't forget the further stipulation that no competing RPG can ever receive higher than an 8.0, and that anything within them that's even slightly different from your big-name games is instantly written off as a "flaw".

(But on a serious note, I'm going to punch the next person who heaps praise for Bushido Blade on Squaresoft. SQUARE DID NOT MAKE BUSHIDO BLADE. It was developed by Lightweight. Square published it. Do some research.)

6. Make damn sure that you time all of your releases to come out within a week or two of any competing titles in the genre; cut corners or delay your game a few weeks if you need to. That way, given a choice between an unknown title and a bigger-name release with the glowing reviews you bought, they'll always go for yours! Who cares if their games are better designed in just about every way, or whether they may come from independent developers who had to fight tooth and nail for months or even years to be recognized over self-indulgent art house crap like Braid and garbage like "Super Columbine Massacre RPG" that gives gamers and gaming in general a bad name; you've got better graphics, a bigger fanbase and an endless greed for money, nothing else matters!

7. Charge $5-$10 extra for all of your games even though they're not packaged with a soundtrack CD, in a collector's case, or contain anything at all to warrant the extra price. It's the quickest road to profit, and hey, you're popular; you can get away with it! Hell, once you've worked your way up the chain enough, you can even sell Discs 2, 3 and maybe 4 as seperate games, each at full price. Cha-ching!

8. Once you've got a few hundred million bucks in sales, it's time to cash in even more! Wait a few years, then release wave after wave of low-budget sequels, spinoffs, prequels and remakes on the handheld systems or as downloadable titles. You don't even need to make them fun, original or compelling; people will buy them based solely on name recognition, nostalgia, and a low price tag. Remember, the wonderful thing about downloadable content is that it costs practically nothing to distribute and there are no refunds!

With this handy guide, you can continue to rake in buckets of cash while you stifle creativity and stagnate the industry to years for come. Because who needs to invest time, thought or emotion into games these days? You did your time a decade ago, now it's time sit back, collect your checks every month, and buy out or bankrupt anyone who dares to say otherwise!
 
 
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~Travis Touchdown  §  at 02:03pm 05/23/10
 
i will gladly pay for a game a second time if you release a version six months later that allows me to play through the exact same story as the hero's girlfriend.
 ~Azul Rojo  §  at 10:59pm 05/29/10
 
That was really informative! By gosh, I think Square-Enix is doing a fine job of following this to the letter. No wonder they're so popular! *barf, puke, upchuck, etc. etc.*

Anyway, I've got some things I want to add:

9. ALWAYS focus on the game's graphics as much as possible. If you've invested hundreds of hours and millions of dollars into making a game look good, you won't have to put much work into anything else. People will flock to the game if it looks realistic and has lots of amazing eye candy.

10. When working on a popular series, make sure to cram lots of " innovative" gameplay into the newer games. Even if you've found a basic system that's worked nicely for 8 or more games, make sure to completely change it at some point so it doesn't even slightly resemble what you started with. The best thing to do is go for railroaded, one-button gameplay and AI-controlled characters. Even better, make the game play itself, or run like an interactive movie. If you go for AI-controlled characters, the programming doesn't have to be that great; some people will think you added a nice challenge to the game when they have to take care of stupid AI.

11. Make cutscenes and FMVs at LEAST 3 to 10 minutes long. This will help showcase the game's graphics and puff up the storyline. A bonus is that this can tack on a few extra hours of game time. Be sure to throw in a bunch of confusing words and terms into the dialogue, so it's hard to follow the story (or lack of it).

12. In addition to long cutscenes and FMVs, you should include a massive, in-game encyclopedia. Make sure to put the important and interesting plot details in here, and not in the dialogue. Hardcore fans will think the lack of info in the main story makes it more interesting and mysterious!

13. Music isn't that important anymore, so you don't have to focus on making it memorable. A few quiet notes and chords will suffice. As long as you've focused on graphics, no one will really care about the music, anyway.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 10:57am 07/06/10
 
There's nothing more fun than babysitting retarded AI-driven characters who don't help you at all, but whom the game insists you will need the assistance of. Well, they might come in and save you in a cutscene here and there, but since that doesn't require any thought from any party involved, it's a pretty cheap copout.

Seriously dudes, take some notes from Rogue Galaxy - that's the only game I've ever seen that actually does party AI right. They're smart enough to deal with almost every enemy type on their own, they rarely make stupid mistakes like getting caught in corners, and they always prompt you before spending MP or items instead of just blowing through the entire stock in 3-4 minutes.
 
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